By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee on September 2, 2020
Now, our very own Ferry and Dennis have more than enough experience with travelling in strange machines, as you can read in our monthly updates in the category Big Red Time Machine. Personally, I travelled with said Timemachine once or twice but not that much. But that doesn't stop me to jump into a space ship and travel to the strange world of the 2D platform game Juiced!
During the intro we will meet our main character, which is sort of like a purple bean who loves nothing more than drinking juice. Strange things have been happening lately and it's up to us to explore this planet and investigate where these strange activities are coming from.
The start of the game is already excellent. I'm so used that platformers will simply let me walk from left to right, that I was somewhat confused when I discovered that I couldn't actually go the right. After a minute or so, I found out that I could go to the left, so I did that. I think this is an excellent way of introducing the player to your game and making it clear that anything is possible and nothing will be as you expect it to be.
The main story is about fighting evil, so we meet another creature named Bolton, who is best described as a robot head without a body. We also meet his evil boss. This devious duo is on a hunt to find the eternal crystals. Now, as one might suspect, Bolton getting his hands on these crystals is anything but good news, so it's our duty to keep these crystals as far from this evil dude as possible.
The world of Juiced! is a very dangerous place, especially for a tiny purple creature. You have to always be on your guard and keep an eye out for the various dangers that cross your path, so you can evade them in time. The game has an automatic save feature that saves your game after every chapter, as well as strategically placed checkpoints during the levels, so that's great news. The one thing that bothered me about this game is the fact that when you die and have to try again, sometimes this particular moment features a cutscene, and the game made me watch the whole cutscene over and over again. Now, seeing as how this is 2020, there has to be a way to overcome this or even just create a skip button. On the other hand, this minor issue is the only boggle I have with the game.
The entire game basically has the same basic concept as the Super Mario games that we know from the 90's. Yet, at the same time, Juiced! has own look and feel. While exploring the levels you can collect fruit to fill your juice meter. When you manage to do so, you will be "juiced". The effect of being Juiced! is that you are literally on fire, which make you invincible. Also, make sure to pick up all the coins you can find, so you can buy weapons and power ups. A simple weapon that I found was the ability to throw acorns at your enemies. But I must say the best and most unexpected weapon I found up till now, was a dog's head. When I launch it, the head will jump forward and eat up all the enemies it can find, for a limited time of course. I never seen a weapon like that and I think it is awesome!
While playing, you can also unlock hats and mask which you can use to customize your purple creature. Everything about this game looks colorful and happy, but don't let this design fool you. This is a true 2D platform game, and in the long-standing tradition of this genre, things get more complicated really, really fast. You can pick the Super Easy difficulty level instead of the Normal setting, but even on this easy setting, it will be a tough nut to crack. So, if you're up for a decent platforming challenge, you should try this game and get Juiced!
Timothy van der Hoeven
September 24, 2020 (Nintendo Switch)
June 20, 2020 (PC / OS X / Android / iOS)